Hello, friends. How was your summer? Good, I hope. But all that is behind us now; it's time to get back to work. Deflate the beach balls; put away the flip-flops; unpack the waterproof poncho. Agents of SHIELD is back, and I'm back to recap it. (Inexplicably, I was not fired for my recaps last season. I was actually promoted. Sorry, everyone.)
Long-time readers will recall that my major objection to Marvel's Agents of SHIELD is that it just didn't make enough use of its Marvel Universe playground. It didn't need Chris Evans pouting beautifully in every episode; it just needed to exploit the assets it had. Season one never did; yet everything I've heard about season two makes me want to give the show another chance. Because, like Doctor Doom, I'm very smart but I never learn.
The great thing about Fox News is that it's only Tuesday and you're already about to see the dumbest thing you'll see all week.
In this case, it's a clip from Fox's weekend morning show, where three people with the collective brains of a sack of doorknobs turn their reasoned and well-thought out opinions to the world of comic books. Specifically taking on Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman's upcoming run on Thor, where the iconic Marvel hero will get a new identity as a woman, and complaining about Wonder Woman's costume in the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice film by comparing it to Jim Lee's redesign from four years ago that, according to them, appears to be a product of what they characterize as fundamentalist Sharia Law.
No, really, this dope on the left actually says that.
Late last week, word started to trickle out that Aquaman – who is all but confirmed to be played by Jason Momoa in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ – made a cameo in ‘Man of Steel,’ but you just didn’t realize it because he was never on camera. Remember those whales that we see after Superman saves the people on the oil rig? Apparently, Aquaman sent those whales to help out.
It's Celebrate Bisexuality Day today, also called Bisexual Visibility Day -- a day to celebrate and promote recognition of those who are sexually attracted to people of more than one gender. The day exists because people with non-monosexual queer identities face unusual challenges in being recognized by both mainstream and queer cultures, yet visibility helps break down barriers and encourage acceptance.
In superhero comics, the problem of bisexual invisibility is as ingrained as anywhere; the medium struggles to acknowledge the existence of anything that didn't exist in The Honeymooners or The Andy Griffith Show, unless it's a space god, a shapeshifter, or a parasitic psychic monster. Having a character say, "I'm bisexual" is apparently more implausible than any of those things. There are signs that the industry is changing in this regard -- but slowly, and rather half-heartedly.
The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series.
This week, Jubilee actually compares the events of her life to a soap opera, just in case you didn't get that before now.
In case you haven't read it yet (and missed our review), Edge of Spider-Verse #2 by Jason LaTour and Robbi Rodriguez is a fantastic comic. It introduces an alternate-universe Gwen Stacy who become Spider-Woman and is on the run from the cops after being blamed for the death of poor old Peter Parker. It also involves an awesome element: A band called The Mary Janes, in which Gwen is the drummer, Mary Jane Watson is the lead singer/bassist, Glory Grant is the keyboardist, and Betty Brant plays lead guitar.
That'd be cool enough on its own, but a band called Married With Sea Monsters took it a step further. They've actually recorded a version of the song from the comic, "Face It Tiger," and posted it to YouTube.
Deadpool lives. Marvel's Merc with the Mouth will finally get his own solo movie after years in production limbo according to an announcement by Twentieth Century Fox, which has scheduled the picture for a February 2016 release -- on Valentine's Day weekend, no less. Deadpool is love.
Tim Miller is attached to direct, and Ryan Reynolds is expected to reprise his role from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, though no official deal has been announced. Fox also pushed back its Josh Trank-directed Fantastic Four movie from June 19th 2015 to August 7th, to cover for a Michael Fassbender Assassin's Creed movie that's been bumped off the calendar due to production delays.
Welcome back to Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, a weekly podcast in which X-Perts Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes explore the ins, outs, and retcons of fifty years of Marvel’s greatest superhero soap opera!
This week: Rachel and Miles return triumphant, the X-Men get a second ongoing series, we hit peak Moira MacTaggert, R-A-H-N-E is definitely pronounced “rain,” Sam Guthrie is the nicest henchman, Claremont is hit-and-miss on cultural diversity, and Bobby da Costa is the teenageriest teenager of them all.
So it turns out that, defying any expectations that we may have had five years ago, Rocket Raccoon and Groot are the most popular characters in the most popular movie of the summer. In other words, get used to seeing them literally everywhere -- starting with 20 of Marvel's comics for November, where the talking tree and his surly procyonid pal are taking over with a series of variant covers.
Even better, the variants are homages to classic Marvel covers, ranging from classics like Captain America's reappearance in the Marvel Universe back in Avengers #4 to one of the most obscure and self-referential homages that I've ever seen. It's actually pretty amazing.
Coco Chanel once opined that “fashions fade, only style remains the same.” In channeling the latter through the former, Gwen Stacy’s Spider-Woman disagrees to great effect in the self-contained Edge Of Spider-Verse #2, on sale now and nominally part of Marvel's Spider-Verse crossover event. The electric color palette and the asymmetrical hairdos and the wildly winged eyeshadow might look dated in a few years’ time, sure, but these pages bleed a fluorescent adolescent attitude found across time and space, from 19th century Spain’s hipster majos to Siouxie Sioux. This is a Gwen that owes as much to Peter Parker as she does to Tank Girl. This is a Gwen—and a comic—with style.
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